What We Are Doing
In September 2008, we published our Report to Shareholders on Climate Change, which summarized information on the science of climate change, discussed our position on the issue and detailed our low-carbon business strategy. Progress Energy prepared similar reports to stakeholders in 2006 and 2008.
Each year, Duke Energy reports its annual emissions of CO2 to The Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world. Here’s a link to our latest report (registration is required), which includes data about Duke Energy’s carbon emissions prior to the Progress Energy merger. Information about our Progress Energy assets can be found in Progress Energy’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Using energy more efficiently is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Duke Energy views energy efficiency as the fifth fuel, as important as coal, natural gas, renewable sources and nuclear for meeting our customers’ future energy needs. Duke Energy developed an innovative approach to promoting energy efficiency through our save-a-watt programs. These programs not only help reduce emissions, but they also save our customers money, while ensuring a fair rate of return to our shareholders. Learn more about how Duke Energy residential, business, and large-business customers can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using energy more efficiently. For more information about how energy efficiency can help address climate change, visit the Alliance to Save Energy website.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – changing how we will generate electricity
Duke Energy is the largest electric utility company in the United States and one of the top emitters of carbon dioxide. We realize we need to prepare for a future when carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced. In 2007, we asked ourselves how we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our electric generation by 50 percent by 2030. We analyzed the options available to meet our customers’ future energy needs – clean coal, nuclear, natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency – and looked at the costs of those options. The result is our Vision 2030 Plan, which outlines what we would need to do to meet that 50 percent emissions reduction aspiration.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – carbon offsets
Duke Energy supports federal policy that will cost-effectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions throughout the U.S. economy. However, some of the lowest-cost reductions available are associated with activities that are small and/or dispersed, making them difficult to control and monitor through conventional regulatory processes. Examples include capturing methane emissions from livestock operations and reducing emissions associated with land use – such as how farmers apply fertilizer or how they till their fields. The idea behind carbon offsets is that industries covered by the economywide program could invest in projects to control emissions from these smaller sources when it’s less expensive than controlling their own emissions – reducing overall costs for consumers and spurring innovation at the same time.
Duke Energy supports research on the development of high-quality offset projects through its work with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). To gain more in-depth information on carbon offsets – both the policy and technical issues – read these EPRI reports:
- The EPRI Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offset Policy Dialogue
- A Comprehensive Overview of Project-Based Mechanisms to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Tropical Deforestation
Duke Energy signed the Tropical Forest and Climate Unity Agreement, which states climate policy principles shared by environmental nonprofit organizations and corporations for the protection of tropical rainforests. We are also a partner in The Prince's Rainforest Project, established in 2007 by the Prince of Wales to "discover an innovative means of halting tropical deforestation."